Chicken Hand Pies or Chicken Pasties

Chicken pasties or chicken hand pies whatever you call them, I call them delicious! Chock-full of chicken, potatoes, peas and corn, these hand-held pocket pies are sure to become a favorite in your home!

When the weather starts to turn cooler it is inevitable that I start to crave warm and satisfying comfort foods. For me there is nothing quite as satisfying than a homemade chicken pot pie. The other day when I was getting ready to assemble a chicken pot pie for dinner, instead of rolling out the pie dough and placing it on top of my baking dish, I decided to cut out rounds for individual pies. This recipe makes 18 hand held pies, which is perfect because I can freeze some extras and enjoy homemade chicken pasties whenever the craving strikes (or when I am feeling too lazy to make dinner! ;) ) Warm and creamy chicken pot pie filling surrounded by a tender flaky homemade pie crust…hello fall!

Chicken Pot Hand Pies

Chicken Hand Pies chock-full of chicken, potatoes, peas and corn.

Yield: 18 hand pies

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Filling:
1 pound skinless, uncooked boneless chicken breast halves, each breast cut in half
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup sliced celery
2 bay leaves
1 potato, cubed
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup milk

For the Pie Dough:
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1 ½ teaspoons table salt
3 tablespoons sugar
18 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vodka, cold
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Directions:

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine chicken, carrots, peas, corn, celery, and bay leaves. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. When 5 minutes are left, add the cubed potato. Remove from heat, drain and set aside. Remove chicken and shred.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onions and garlic in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, celery seed, basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 5 min. Stir in shredded chicken and vegetable mixture and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Transfer filling to the refrigerator until filling is cold.
While the chicken filling is cooling, make the pie dough. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process 2 3/4 cups flour, salt, and sugar until combined, about two 1-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds; dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour. Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 pulses. Transfer mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. Using a folding motion, use a rubber spatula to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into 3 even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on floured work surface to 12-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 6-inch round biscuit cutter, cut circles out of the rolled dough. Rerolling scraps if necessary. Transfer the circles to a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling, cutting and chilling process with the remaining dough (you should have about 18 circles).
Place about 1/3 cup filling in center of each dough round. Fold it in half so the other side comes down over the filling, creating a semicircle. Seal the hand pie by pressing with tines of a fork. Repeat process with remaining dough and filling. Place the hand pies back on the parchment-lined baking sheet and return to the refrigerator to chill for another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the chilled hand pies from the refrigerator, cut a small slit in each and lightly brush with the egg wash. Bake until the hand pies are golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 25-30 minutes. Remove the pies from the oven, and let stand to cool slightly before serving.

Recipe Note:
These hand-held pocket pies freeze beautifully. To freeze properly, place freshly prepared pies in a single layer on a baking sheet and put in the freezer. Once they are frozen solid, individually wrap each pie in plastic wrap and place in a resealable freezer bag. To bake from frozen, place on a baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and bake according to the recipe but for a few minutes longer.

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